April 28, 2009

Grace Abounding: Memorizing Scripture in Tongues?

A few years ago I memorized all of Romans chapter 5 in the ESV version. Since then, I didn't do a lot of memorizing whole chapters (except for Psalm 119, which I never did get past verse 40), but spent a lot of time studying other areas of interest.

In the past year, I began learning to speak in tongues. I started with the Spanish tongue as a result of meeting many latino people in Philadelphia who speak very little English. I am now able to say a few things to them and share briefly about the gospel with them in their own language.

I have now begun memorizing Scripture in Spanish in order to help me learn to speak it and to witness. Currently I have been working on Romans chapter 1, and am up to verse 17 (soon to begin the second half the chapter on the doctrine of total depravity). What a chapter! I can't wait until I can use it to witness to people on the street. I was in Pittsburgh this past weekend, and the vision to get the gospel out to the nations just flooded me with fresh excitement.

So if any of you have memorized Scripture in another language: 1. What different languages have you memorized Scripture in? 2. What verses did you memorize? and 3. For what reasons?

April 20, 2009

Grace Abounding: I HEART Preachers!

I thought of making a bumper sticker yesterday as I listened to my pastor preach in church.

April 4, 2009

Grace Abounding: Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana

Last week was unusual. I spent most of it on a large island directly south (over 2000 miles) from where I am now. The weather was warm, sunny and palm trees were everywhere. There were people everywhere as well, who for the most part, have very little knowledge of the truth of the gospel of the grace of God, as it is revealed in Christ. Most people in the Dominican Republic are Roman Catholic. Almost everyone we spoke to was very open to hearing the gospel. The people politely took tracts whenever we offered them. Two young men at the first university in America (both with the name Emanuel and who happened to be sitting near each other), talked with us for over an hour about salvation by grace. The first Emanuel wanted tracts in English, because he was studying English. The other Emanuel heard us talking and was listening intently, so I called him over to join us. They were so eager to understand God's grace through Christ, it was truly heart-moving to see. They were also eager to accept Bibles and any other Scriptural material we had to give. I wish I could tell the whole story, but for now, I will simply post this list of some ways that God answered prayers during our trip:

Ways prayers were answered by our Lord Jesus during our first trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic:

1. We went in response to many prayers. Rita had been praying for a year and a half that God would raise up evangelists in her city. I had been praying over a year ago to get help learning Spanish so that I could witness to Latinos, and Rita has helped me with that. Pastor Mark had been praying for 10-15 years to go to a Spanish speaking country for evangelism, and this was his first trip to one (he had been to Brazil and Guyana before, but they are not Spanish speaking countries).

2. Many prayers went up to heaven on our behalf that we would be taken care of and kept safe, and that nothing would be lost or stolen. Those prayers were fulfilled beyond measure.

3. It had been raining this season and Rita was afraid it might rain while we were there so that we could not stand in the streets and witness to people. I prayed it would not rain. It did not rain a drop the entire time we were there, although it did rain again after we left. We spent our time there meeting people outside in the warm sunshine.

4. We prayed that the Lord would raise up fellow laborers to go with us and help us translate. Rita was our full-time translator, but we had at least 4 others who helped translate at different times. I prayed we would meet people on the street who would want to help us. There was a man we met on the street El Conde, who helped translate and pass out tracts.

The Street El Conde (where we did a lot of witnessing)

"Buenas noticias hoy!"

"Good news today!"

"Porque por gracia ustedes son salvos por medio de la fe; y esto no de ustedes, pues es don de Dios, para que nadie se gloríe." (Ephesians 2:8-9).

"Para ti."

"For you."

These two guys were from Haiti.

Pastor Mark teaching Patrick from Miami.

At America's first university UASD

"Dios les bendiga, mis amigos de Santo Domingo!"

"God bless you, my friends of Santo Domingo!"